Sirach 34:30

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

28 When one builds and another tears down, what do they gain but hard work? 29 When one prays and another curses, to whose voice will the Lord listen? 30 If one washes after touching a corpse, and touches it again, what has been gained by washing? 31 So if one fasts for his sins, and goes again and does the same things, who will listen to his prayer? And what has he gained by humbling himself?

Council of Carthage

Synod of 256

Quietus of Baruch said: We who live by faith ought to obey with careful observance those things which before have been foretold for our instruction. For it is written in Solomon: He that is baptized from the dead, (and again touches the dead) what avails his washing? which certainly speaks of those who are washed by heretics, and of those that wash them. For if those who are baptized among them obtain by remission of their sins life eternal, why do they come to the Church? But if from a dead person no salvation is received, and therefore, acknowledging their previous error, they return to the truth with penitence, they ought to be sanctified with the one vital baptism which is in the Catholic Church.

 Notes and References

"... The eighty-fifth of the Apostolical Canons provides a list of the books in the Hebrew Canon and additionally includes the first three books of the Maccabees and the Wisdom of Sirach. However, these last four books are not included in the Canon, although the Wisdom of Sirach is specially recommended for the instruction of the young. In the Apostolical Constitutions, specifically in sections vi. 14 and 15 (also known as the Didascalia), quotations from Sirach are given with the same formula as those from the books of the Hebrew Canon. Yet, in section ii. 57 of the same work, there is no mention of any of the books of the Apocrypha. On the other hand, at the Council of Hippo in A.D. 393, Sirach was specially mentioned as one of the canonical books. This was further supported at the Council of Carthage in A.D. 397, where the "five books of Solomon," namely Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles, Wisdom, and Sirach, were reckoned among the canonical Scriptures. (Between the years A.D. 390 and 419 no less than six councils were held in Africa, and four of these at Carthage. For a time, under the inspiration of Aurelius and Augustine, the Church of Tertullian and Cyprian was filled with a new life before its fatal desolation ...) This decision was also confirmed by the Council of Carthage in A.D. 419. As we delve into what the Church Fathers have said regarding the canonicity of the book, our attention first turns to the Eastern Church ..."

Charles, R. H. The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (p. 299) Oxford University Press, 1913

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